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Iowa Company Produces Broadway Hit Capping Three Openings in 30 Days

Iowa Company Produces Broadway Hit Capping Three Openings in 30 Days

“Another opening, another show!” So goes the old song. Ames, IA based VenuWorks has taken that lyric to heart with a series of three “openings” in the last thirty days, capped off with a star studded Broadway debut Sunday night.

 

The run of openings started August 29 with the opening of the new 40,000 seat TDECU Football Stadium on the campus of The University of Houston.  The inaugural game, televised nationally on ESPNU, drew a full house.  VenuWorks is working as a subcontractor to Aramark, an international leader in providing innovative services in food, facilities management, and uniforms to healthcare institutions, universities and school districts, stadiums and arenas, and businesses in 22 countries around the world.  Together, the two companies are managing all aspects of the University’s event operations, including entertainment programming, ticketing, turf and facility maintenance plus delivery of concessions, club level and suites dining programs and retail merchandising.  UH Chancellor Renu Khator told the Houston Chronicle, “If we are going to be Tier One, we have to be Tier One across the table in our research, our student success, and in our athletics. It adds a lot of value.”

 

Then last Wednesday, September 24, a new touring production of the Broadway hit musical JEKYLL AND HYDE opened at the VenuWorks-managed Ames Center in Burnsville, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis. The musical is being produced by Touring Theatre Associates, LLC, a new company founded by VenuWorks and Troupe America, a Plymouth-based production company headed by Curt Wollan, and known for its national tours of such favorites as THE ODD COUPLE and CHURCH BASEMENT LADIES. The production was mounted at the Ames Center, and from there is touring across the country through the spring of 2015. “Curt and I met as grad students at the University of Iowa in 1974, and we have been talking about creating a production company together ever since,” said VenuWorks president Steve Peters. “This company fills a need in our smaller markets where the big national tours that play for at least a week at a time cannot be presented profitably.” The tour was booked by Columbia Artists Management.

 

On Sunday evening, the Broadway revival of the Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy, YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU opened at the Longacre Theatre on 48th Street in New York City to universal rave reviews.  VenuWorks Theatricals, a division of VenuWorks, Inc. was a co-producer of the show.  This Pulitzer Prize-winning, uproarious family affair is led by the legendary James Earl Jones, and features an outrageous cast of 20, including Golden Globe® nominee Rose Byrne, Tony Award nominee Kristine Nielsen, Tony Award nominee Annaleigh Ashford and Tony Award winner Elizabeth Ashley.  The New York Times proclaimed “Screwball Magic Does the Trick.”  And USA Today called the show “A revival not to be missed.”  “We were thrilled when Steve Traxler, president of Jam Theatricals, invited us to join them and their other partners in producing the show,” said Peters.  “We have been presenting Broadway series’ in markets across the US with Jam for nearly two decades.  It was a perfect next step for us.”

 

“Our base business is managing venues – theatres, arenas, stadiums and convention centers,” said Peters.  “So it is critical to our success that we have a pipeline to all sorts of events.  We work constantly to bring new events and new event providers into that pipeline, by doing such things as creating new theatrical productions, by partnering with national and regional promoters, and creating new industrial events like a Dairy Festival and life style events like our Tattoo Expo.  We are going to new lengths to deliver the quantity, quality and variety of events necessary to fill the fifty plus venues we serve across the country.”

UH Football Opening Game

TDECU Stadium Opening Game

You Can't Take It With You Opening Night

You Can’t Take It With You

Jekyll & Hyde

Jekyll & Hyde

 

 

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